Damaged NJ Utilities Have Right To Trial, High Court Says

Law360, New York (January 24, 2013, 5:12 PM EST) -- A provision in a New Jersey law that covers the resolution of disputes over damaged underground equipment is unconstitutional because it treads on utility companies' right to a jury trial when seeking compensation for harm to their facilities, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court was weighing a case in which Jersey Central Power and Light Co. demanded monetary relief from Melcar Utility Co., accusing the company of negligently damaging its underground electrical lines during excavation work. At stake was a subsection of the Underground...
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